The pictures of some of major league baseball's hot young shortstops were enough to thrill any female fan.
ALLISON S. WILLIAMS, BRIDGETON, N.J.
Tom Verducci's article on up-and-coming shortstops (Long on Shortstops, Feb. 24) debunked the notion that it's acceptable for a shortstop to hit .220 if he plays decent defense. With the likes of the Yankees' Derek Jeter and the Mariners' Alex Rodriguez, no manager should have to tolerate a weak stick at the position.
BARRY E. BURUD, Minneapolis
You could have given more than one sentence to Montreal Expos shortstop Mark Grudzielanek. He put up impressive stats in 1996, his first full season in the majors: .306 average, 201 hits, 99 runs scored, 33 stolen bases and an All-Star appearance. Both his offense and defense helped the low-budget Expos in their wild-card run.
MARC BRAZEAU, Vaudreuil, Que.
Your article emphasized the offensive talents of these young players, but defense is important as well. Nothing much was said about glovework or range.
FRED ENGLE, Minneapolis
When I read about 10-year-old Martin Gallegos in FACES IN THE CROWD (Feb. 24), my stomach turned. I understand that most people consider boxing a sport, but something is wrong with sanctioning it for children and glorifying a nine-year-old who wins "with a KO." As a father of two athletic daughters, ages seven and 10, I was unsettled by the idea of children so young being subjected to head injuries. My mind fills with images of parents encouraging such behavior.
PETER C. RIMKUS, Ashford, Conn.
Although I appreciate Alexander Wolff's story about basketball player Marcus LoVett and his difficulties at Oklahoma City University (School's Out, Feb. 24), it is inaccurate to attribute his learning problem, attention deficit disorder (also known as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD), to factors such as parental neglect and mental abuse. ADHD is thought to be a chemical imbalance that affects the signals between brain cells and causes symptoms that include a short attention span and impulsive behavior. Environmental deprivation and head trauma can cause a short attention span and learning problems but not ADHD. From the description in your article, it seems likely that LoVett has ADHD complicated by a learning disability and family turmoil.
DAVID A. LEVINE, M.D.
Morehouse School of Medicine
Wolff gives LoVett more academic credit than he's due. Terms like "generic" or "mentor-slash-role model," which Wolff says LoVett uses, are hardly vocabulary from academia, as Wolff suggests. Also, Wolff says LoVett's progress toward a degree will be more difficult now that he is taking history, philosophy and kinesiology. As almost every college student knows, kinesiology is just a fancy word for good old-fashioned P.E.
JOHN BAKER, Arcata, Calif.
As an adult literacy tutor for the past four years I have tutored learning-disabled and mentally handicapped students, one of whom has attention deficit disorder. All my adult students have shown up for their classes. If LoVett can show up for basketball practice, he can show up for classes and tutoring sessions. It's time he accepted responsibility for his actions, or nonactions, in the classroom.
ERIN HOLMQUIST, Hanscom AFB, Mass.
I enjoyed your article on Tara Lipinsky's win at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (Kid Stuff, Feb. 24), but this event was not just about the ladies. What about Todd Eldredge winning his fourth men's title, Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow winning their fourth dance title and Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen winning their first pairs title? They deserve recognition.
L. VARITES, Newark, Del.
Michelle Kwan is only 16 and was under tremendous pressure. I could understand running one picture of her falling, but four?
LINDA THALL, Los Angeles